You’ve read about the 9 symptoms/traits of BPD. Here are 6 behaviours/reactions that a person with BPD may have that are lesser known.
1. Even a BPD doesn’t know what triggers them to get angry
Anger and rage are a major part of BPD. But there are no fixed triggers. A person with BPD could get into a rage for any number of reasons. Even they do not know the real triggers for anger. So, while you can, observe and remember what causes them to blow a fuse, remember that there is no fixed formula and that even they don’t know what triggers them. So, it’s a continuous learning process.
2. Begging first, then turning hostile
In a fight or argument with a BPD, he or she will start with emotional break downs or crying and will beg you to be there and not leave them. But as the argument progresses they may soon change tune and turn hostile. This happens because at first they feel weak and vulnerable that you may leave them. Then when they realize that you are not giving much support or empathy, they can soon get triggered into rage and blow up by shouting, being abusive or even getting violent. So it clearly becomes a case of I love you; I hate you. In this situation the non-BPD partner must calm down and show empathy to prevent further flaring up of temper.
3. Selfish jealousy
A BPD is insecure by nature. They can feel insecure and jealous not only with people their loved ones are attached or show interest and affection towards but also things. For example, A Borderline may feel jealous and angry if their partner spent some time watching a football match or even playing a guitar. This happens more so if they don’t know anything about football or music. They feel left out, neglected and uncared for. This is very real to them though it may seem like a selfish jealousy to you. Try to get them involved in your activities and pastimes and try to ‘include’ them so that they don’t feel left out.
4. Mirroring for a reason
At the start or initial stages of a relationship with a partner or even a friend, a Borderline will go to great pains to mirror. This means they will agree with everything you say, alugh when you laugh, show disinterest in something that you are not interested in and so on. They do this so that you feel a connection to them and like them. They want you to feel that they are ’like you’ – that you both have a lot in common. Of course this phase lasts only for a short time as they don’t have the energy to put upm with the false image for very long. Recognize this behavior and allow time to let it pass. Also show support and empathy for things they are interested in, even if they don’t interest you.
5. Silent anger
This can drive a borderline up the wall! So you both have a fight. Later you give them the silent treatment – you don’t acknowledge them, you don’t talk to them, you ignore them and reply to what they say in monosyllables. Please make very sure you do not do this no matter how upset you are. The silence can drive them crazy and may also cause them to go into self-destructive mode or suicide ideation. Love and support your BPD partner.
6. Walking away
Sometimes during an altercation with a borderline, you may feel there is no option but to walk away. This can lead to dangerous repercussions. Try to hold on and stay put because if you walk away it is like a slap on the face to a borderline. They feel you have rejected and cut them out. They also feel you will never come back. Through all this, they actually internally blame themselves although they may project as though they blame you. Be patient. Be strong. Stay put.
Conclusion: Through all the 6 points mentioned above, it may seem like a borderline is a terrible person. Far from it – they are insecure, weak and vulnerable. But don’t lose heart. A borderline does not stay the same forever; like everyone else they too grow and change. Make sure your partner feels secure and loved and they are taking their medication and therapy regularly. Rest assured, with time, things will change for the better.